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Why you should avoid the beach after it rains

Photo by Arthur Brognoli on

The recent rains in LA have prompted the LA County Public Health Department to issue a Beach water use advisory for all Beaches, including Manhattan Beach. In other words, don’t go into the water.

The advisory is from May 16th, 2019 until May 19th, 2019 at 8:00 am and advises beach goers to stay out of the water or risk illness due to bacteria and viruses. This is a typical 72 hour notice, unless it rains again with the same period, then restart the clock.

3.5 Million people a year become ill from contact with sewer overflows, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

When it rains, the runoff that isn’t absorbed into the ground goes into to ocean. Also, any inadequate sewage lines can become saturated and flow into our beautiful beaches. The most common illness associated with sewage runoff is gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fever. Besides gastroenteritis, the rain runoff into the beaches can cause infections to the ears, eyes, nose and throat. Also, an open cut that is exposed to runoff can cause a staph infection that can lead to sepsis, which will kill you.

Another concern from runoff is the unknown mix of heavy metals found in pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals found on our roadways. Any trash or pollutants that can be washed from the streets will end up in the beaches. Swimming or surfing in contaminated waters after the rain means absorbing and possibly ingesting some of these pollutants. The best thing to do is to stay out of the water and plan to swim another day…

For updated information on beach conditions, 24 hours a day on the County’s beach closure hotline: 1-800- 525-5662. Information is also available online at:

This entry was posted in Beach.
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